2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Le Creuset · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage · Vicarage Kitchen · Winter

The Humble Thermos Flask

Monday, 27th February 2023

Last Autumn, I bought two Thermos flasks from the Thermos website. It cost me just under Ā£55 pounds and it has been a good investment.

When we lived in Scotland, we were often subjected to power cuts due to bad weather and so listening to the weather forecast became a daily chore. If the forecast was bad, the first thing I would do is to fill our Thermos flasks with hot water.

Now that we live in England, we are not prone to as many power cuts so I hadn’t replaced the Thermos Flasks that got lost in transit from Scotland to England.

The rise in energy bills got me thinking of the time when my maternal grandmother used to fill her Thermos flasks with hot water to save having to boil the kettle mulitple times. That practice died after the discovery of electric kettles!

Here in the vicarage, we don’t have an electric kettle; just a Le Creuset hob kettle. Since the purchase of the Thermos flasks, I have been doing what my grandmother did and have discovered that they save so much of time. I am not sure if we save on energy but I am going to continue with this practice.

2023 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage · Winter

Vaseline Or Vicks?

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Thursday, 9th of February 2023

I don’t like the early starts of Sundays. After all these years, I haven’t gotten used to the earlier church times in England. In Scotland, most services were at 11am. The recent purchase of Teasmade has made the getting up in the morning slightly easier.

On Sunday as I was dolling myself up for church, I noticed that my lips were unusually dry so I reached out for the Vaseline that was on the dressing table and started applying it on my lips when it began to sting! As I was not wearing my glasses (I am blind as a bat without it), I had picked up the Vicks Vaporub that was next to the Vaseline !!!!! Thankfully I managed to wipe it clean even though I could still smell the Vicks when we were in church!

2022 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage

Who Doesn’t Like Shortbread??!!!

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The Mhinisteir doesn’t like shortbread! I don’t think I know of anybody else who doesn’t like shortbread. I used to make them in abundance and it was only much later that I realised that he actually doesn’t like them – I ended up giving them away. These days I only make them when I want to give them away as food gifts.

Last Christmas, an elderly parishioner gifted the Mhinisteir with a box of Paterson’s Scottish Shortbread. Needless to say that it has been sitting in the cupboard until two days ago. Another parishioner had given me some cooking apples two Sundays ago and so I decided to make apple crumble with the cooking apples and the shortbread. Surprisingly, the Mhinisteir thought that it was the best apple crumble ever!

2022 · Anglican · Autumn · Blogging · Church of England · Church of Scotland · Clergy Wife · Edinburgh · England · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage

Forgotten yet again!

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Since the Queen’s state funeral last week, there have been calls for the eight pall bearers to be awarded with some kind of a medal. Personally I don’t think it is necessary for they were only doing their duty but were there really only 8 pall bearers? How about the other eight in Scotland who did an equally fantastic job?

Sadly, the devolved nations get forgotten far too often.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of Scotland · Clergy Wife · England · Scotland · Spring · Vicarage

Unusual choice of clothing?

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In one of our recent visits to the city, I came across at least three men wearing skirts on different occasions. I was shocked fascinated. I had never seen anything like it before. I wanted to do a double take but did not want to cause offence. These were not kilts but long pleated flowery skirts. One of my encounters was at a Sainsbury’s supermarket when I saw a wee granny doing a double take at the skirted man who had just walked past her!

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Vicarage

Bank Holiday

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Here in the UK, Monday was a bank holiday. I didn’t even know about it until late last week. As a lady of leisure, bank holidays don’t mean much to me. Anyway, I have never liked them because when I used to work in Scotland, companies that have a headquarters in London tended to follow the English bank holidays so nothing much got done if it was a bank holiday in England but not in Scotland.

It doesn’t help that the Mhinisteir works on bank holidays. By the way, none of the clergy I know works on bank holidays but I won’t go into that. All I would say is that clergy are entitled to bank holidays so I was aghast to learn from the Mhinisteir that he had received an email from the Bishop’s office on Monday which was a bank holiday! Maybe this is the result of homeworking where people feel entitled to blindly fire off emails when they feel like it.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Funeral · God · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Tears · Vicarage

Ugly Cry

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I rarely answer the vicarage telephone as 99.9% of the phones calls are for the Mhinisteir. One day last week, the Mhinisteir had to be away and because it was his day off I decided to ignore the telephone. The answering machine gets turned off on his days off.

However, one caller in particular was very persistant that I had to get out of bed where I had been resting to check the caller id. The caller id revealed a mobile number. I was convinced that it was a church warden and decided to ignore because they should know by now that it was the Mhinisteir’s day off.

The caller rang again five minutes later and I picked up the phone. It wasn’t the church warden but an unfamiliar voice. The person introduced himself and knew my name. I didn’t recognise that name. My heart was racing because I thought that the Mhinisteir was in some kind of trouble. Thankfully, very quickly the person told me who his parents were and that he was ringing with some sad news. The penny dropped – Mr Bear had passed away. Baby Bear was very sad. I tried my best to comfort him before he rang off.

I am someone who is always on “screensaver” mode meaning I don’t display my emotions very easily. I didn’t know how sad I was until I went to have a shower that evening and ended up having an ugly cry. The first in many years! I was sad that I would not be able to go Mr Bear’s funeral. Mr & Mrs Bear lived on a small Scottish island. I was also sad when I thought of all the good times that we had.

By the time, I came out of the shower. I felt so much better and ended up having a good sleep.

The next day something similar happened. News came via the Mhinisteir of the death of another dear friend! 2 deaths in 2 days was just too much to bear. They were older friends. Being in their late 80s meant that they were nearly half my age but it is still sad when you lose people whom you hold dear. Thankfully, there were no more tears left for another ugly cry. The good news is I am hoping to go to the funeral of this friend. It will be hard but at least it will give me a proper closure.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Christmas · Christmas cards · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Vicarage

Christmas Card in March?

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That is exactly what happened one day in March this year when the postman brought our post. Among the pile was a red envelope with a Christmas themed stamp and a postmark which said 9 December 2021!

Upon opening the envelope, I discovered that it was a Christmas card from our friend in Scotland.

Maybe this is what we call snail mailšŸ¤£

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Butcher · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Scotland · Tears · Vicarage · Winter

A simple jar

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Several years ago, after our move to England, I found myself in an emotional turmoil. I found England to be very different. I am sure people who have had to move between countries will empathise with me.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with England or her lovely inhabitants. It was me. I was used to something strikingly different. If you have watched the Scottish drama Shetland, you will get a rough idea of what most of my married life was like on various islands. The joys of being married to a Vicar! To be thrust into a city was a culture shock, to say the least. Everything from finding new friends to getting a certain cut of meat from the butchers was difficult.

I needed to turn a corner and needed to do it fast before life became unbearable. That was when I decided to do something with an empty jam jar (a clean one!) and scraps of paper. Every time I prayed over something, I would also write it down on the scrap piece of paper and put it in the jar. Every Sunday evening, I would go through all the written prayers and remove the ones that have been answered. It was amazing how many scraps of paper I was removing from the jar every week! I was beginning to feel better again as I was reminded through this act that even though I was lonely, God never left me! By the time, we moved yet again, another three times actually, the jam jar got lost and I forgot all about it!

However, since the start of January 2022, I have resurrected this habit and am feeling the better for it!

2022 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Archbishop of York · Blogging · Church of England · Church Times · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage · Winter

ABC is being naughty yet again

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It was reported in the most recent Church Times that a new Archbishop’s secretary for appointments has been found. For the uninitiated, the secretary of appointments is the one who manages the process for the appointment of bishops, deans, and other senior posts in the Church of England.

Some people within the Church of England are a little surprised by the appointment as the post which has been vacant for only about 2 months doesn’t seem to have been advertised. Furthermore they are irked by the revelation that it is an internal appointment!

Personally, I find it strange that in the Church of England, clergy have to apply for new positions; something which I am not familiar with because in Scotland the clergy receive what is known as a “call”. Meanwhile administrative positions appear to require no such applications.

I dread that what happens inside the Church mirrors the secular government!